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A quest to conquer an ever growing backlog of games.

Dear Backlog | The Peach Ball Wizard

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Sometimes it takes building your backlog up to really put things into perspective. Then you forget to talk about it.

Dear Backlog,

It’s already September and that means fall is just around the corner. The air is getting colder, the leaves will soon start to change color and we’ll finally have an excuse to stay indoors and play video games. Not that I wouldn’t do that any other time of the year, but there’s something about the imminent winter that makes me feel less guilty about depriving my body of fresh air and natural sunlight.

So, the last we spoke, I was struggling with what I should play next. I dipped my toes in a few things here and there, but eventually landed on playing the classic biker forward Full Throttle and the unabashedly risque SENRAN KAGURA Peach Ball.

A Point and Click Completion

The good news is, I’ve already finished Full Throttle and can wipe it from my backlog! Though, I wasn’t expecting it to go so quickly. When I’ve played similar games, like Day of the Tentacle or The Secret of Monkey Island, I would usually find myself stumbling around trying to solve some obscure puzzle for hours. Which would artificially extend the length of the game. But this time around I was playing it with my wife, so we could put our heads together and try to decipher what the game wanted from us! Either that, or we just looked up the solution because we didn’t realize you could walk behind the dang factory!!

Going into Full Throttle, I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, I’ve heard rumblings of it being revered in the adventure game community as being at the peak of the genre, but that was about it. And after playing it, I can see where they were coming from. It had a lot of unique features that I’ve never encountered before. Things like Road Rash style bike battles, destruction derbies and various other interactive segments. But honestly, it still suffered from many of the downfalls of those types of games. Like being too obtuse and not very forthcoming with it’s clues.

That being said, I very much enjoyed playing it and the humor as always was spot on! That and the work that went into the remaster was quite impressive! I loved that you could switch between the original graphics and the uprezzed ones at the press of a button, so you could see the stark difference between the two! Now that Full Throttle is over, all I’ve been thinking about is playing more games like it! So, I may just have to dig up some other LucasArts classics and replay them! Maybe I’ll start with equally as revered Grimm Fandango!

The Peach Ball Wizard

SENRAN KAGURA Peach Ball on the other hand, is still haunting my dreams with fuzzy pinballs. Even though I just completed it. I guess it’s probably because I’m still in the thick of it trying to capture audio and video for my review! Which wouldn’t have been a problem if the dang game would have let me take video captures as I played it!! Unfortunately though, XSEED or whoever else was responsible blocked that feature! So here I am, still playing it, for “business reasons”.

When I first started the game, it was quite apparent where it was headed, what with it giving you the ability to dress up anime ladies and shoot pinballs at them. But to my surprise, it had a decently constructed pinball sim hidden underneath! Which once you get passed all the other anime BS, was quite fun to play and still is!

The more I got into it though, the more the novelty kinda wore off. Mostly because there are basically only two different tables to play. Peach Land and Spooky Shinobi Park. There are technically day, evening and night variations of these playfields, but that doesn’t really change the mechanics of the tables at all. So you find yourself playing the same thing over and over again. The benefit is that you’ll learn the nuances of each table, but it really hurts it when it comes to replayability.

I would have thought the story mode would be enough to carry me through, but alas that wasn’t the case. It’s kind of boring, pointless and repetitive. Honestly, the only reason I stuck around for so long was to get the completion and maybe so I can unlock all the costumes and accessories. Hey! It’s fun dressing the girls up, okay!?

Anyways, it was fun while it lasted, but I wouldn’t exactly say it’s an easy recommendation. Unless of course you have a strong stomach for anime shenanigans. 

From Waffle to Buffet

Those two games weren’t the only things I was partaking of this past week either! No, because when it rains it pours my dear backlog. The first being a product of circumstance and the other, well, let’s just say I have no self control when it comes to adding to the backlog and keeping that equilibrium alive!

The former, of course, was SEGA AGES Space Harrier! A classic arcade game from SEGA ported to the Switch! Which I played for one of my first contributions for the fine folks over on The Switch Island! I’ve always heard great things about Space Harrier, but have never had the opportunity to play it. And after finally getting my hands on it, I can see where the hype was coming from.

I mean, it does have its quirks, it’s 30+ years old after all, but beyond that it was a blast to play! It was hectic, fast paced and just challenging enough to make it addicting. I could easily see myself revisiting it from time to time just to try and beat my high score! And the best part is, I was able to complete it in one sitting! So, it left the backlog just as fast as it was added!

The second game that was added to the fold, may still be on the backlog, but I was equally as excited to play it. And that is Man of Medan from Supermassive Games. The same folks that brought us the surprisingly good “choose your own adventure” styled horror game, Until Dawn. The mere fact that it was developed by Supermassive has my wife and I, super excited. Especially if it turns out to be anywhere near as good as Until Dawn.

We’ve only played an hour or so of it so far, but it definitely seems to have a lot of potential. The coolest part is that Man of Medan is a first part of an anthology called The Dark Pictures. Which gives it a Tales from the Crypt kind of vibe and I’m all the way on board with that! The only thing wrong with it so far is it’s weirdly janky and floating controls, but I can look past that. And I’ll be sure to keep you updated with our progress!!

Another Week, A Bigger Backlog

Phew! Apparently I had a lot to talk about since last week, and I didn’t even get into the whole finding a ton of retro games at the flea market this past weekend thing! Or the PlayStation store sale raid! But, I think that’ll do it for another week. Maybe I’ll make room for all of that hoopla the next time we speak. But for now I’ll just keep chipping away at Peach Ball and hopefully be floored by the awesomeness of Man of Medan.

Until next week my dearest of backlogs, have a wonderful week and a fantastic weekend!

Currently Playing

Man of Medan (PlayStation 4)

Deiland (Playstation 4) *The Wife*

Timespinner (Switch)

Total Backlogged Games: 739

Total Completed Games: 46

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And you can keep tabs on my backlog by checking out the Backlog Odyssey Backloggery game list!